When a student asks “What is the one thing I can do to score better?” My response is always, “How is your short game?” A very small percentage honestly can tell me that they regularly get “up ‘n down.” Most admit, often it takes more than one chip to get the ball on the green or they don’t get it close enough to one putt. That’s a lot of extra strokes!
A basic “bump and run” chip shot can help you create a repeatable and consistent motion and thus resulting in more opportunities to get the ball “up ‘n down”. In examples A & B:
1. Setup with feet closer together than shoulder width and a slightly open stance i.e. hips & feet left of target facing hole for the right hander. Minimal lower body movement is important. I like having a 60% of weight on forward side and keeping it there through the entire stroke.
2. Stand with your normal posture with ball position back in your stance.
3. Use a pendulum-type of stroke (similar to putt) with very little wrist/hand motion. The golf club should remain low to the ground, moving on the target line.
Example C shows the club head direction moving low through the ball and finishing lower to the ground with a flat left wrist creating crisp, solid contact. This motion allows the loft of the golf club to get the ball in the air. The lower the club stays through the ball, the truer the loft of the ball will be. Distance control can be learned because you are creating a repeatable motion with solid ball contact.
Many people make a “scooping” motion (example D) thinking that they are helping the ball get up in the air. Unfortunately, this creates the opposite results because the club is only making contact with the top of the golf ball. The loft of the club never comes into play.
By following these few basic fundamentals, you will develop a more consistent and reliable stroke. These changes will help you to shave strokes off of your score.
Jordan Lintz is an LPGA professional
and Assistant Director of Instruction at
Great River Golf Club.
jordan@GRgolfclub.com or 203-876-809